Apple Fritter Donuts

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on August 18, 2013

http://www.goodfoodgourmet.com/dough/apple-pie-egg-rolls/ My dad was the shopper in the family so, on his way back from grocery shopping on the weekends, he would occasionally stop and pick up a box of donuts. We couldn’t wait to peek into the box to see if our favorites were in there and once we had evaluated the situation, we descended on the box like hungry pygmies – until only mere crumbs remained.

I was never really picky when it came to types or flavors, I just enjoyed them all – but there was one donut that I especially loved. It wasn’t a traditional style donut but something called an apple fritter donut. Traditionally, this was a scraggly looking donut with lots of bumps and grooves in the surface that had crispy pieces here and there on the outside but was soft and tender on the inside. The dough was marbled with pieces of cooked apple filling, then deep fried and dipped in a glaze. Sometimes they had raisins in them, but I never quite understood why some stores would add these, the outer ones would burn in the frying process and became bitter. I always preferred the ones that only had the apples – they were simply perfect.
There are a few tricks to making these, and are important to include if you are going to achieve the desired result. One of the secrets is in how the dough is prepared and the other is how the dough is formed to get their trademark scraggly exterior. I used my Berliner donut recipe, but I added melted butter instead of softened. The reason I did this was because the melted butter adds a different texture to the dough – almost creating a cross between a cake donut and a yeast donut. You should be careful when adding melted butter to cake batters and dough, because once it is melted the structure has permanently changed and will not come together again, as it does when you use shortening. This affects the final result of the product, so it is important to keep this in mind when you are looking to achieve a particular result.

To get the scraggly appearance, there is a unique step that you also need to include. After spreading out the dough and adding the apple filling, cut the dough into pre-portioned sections and use a dough scraper to chop these pre-portioned pieces into even smaller pieces. Then take the scraggly pieces and arrange them in medium sized piles on another paper lined tray. With this recipe you can make up to 24 small apple donut fritters, so arrange the piles in any size you like. Just remember to flatten out the piles slightly so they aren’t too thick in the center, and allow all of the pieces to proof together. I know this sounds weird, but you have to trust me on this. Some of the apple pieces will come out in the frying process, but just remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and set them aside…DON’T throw them away. Once the donuts have been glazed, you can add these apple pieces on top of the glaze.

I had never made them before, so I really did not know what to expect. I truly cannot believe how exceptional these were, and I will be making them again and again. As it is when frying other things that are also a little fiddly, it’s always good to have a helper in the kitchen when making these. This way, one person can concentrate on frying and the other than concentrate on glazing them while they are still warm. Make sure to make plenty of milk sugar glaze to drizzle over these on both sides. I like using the glaze and wanted to make the traditional version, but you can also toss them in cinnamon sugar if you prefer to do that instead. If these are one of your favorites too, you MUST try this recipe.

Apple Fritter Donuts (12-24 pieces)
1 heaping tablespoon active dry yeast (.5 oz)
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole milk, warm
3 yolks
¼ cup water, warm
1/3 cup butter, melt in butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil **to grease bowl
Use half a recipe for apple filling ** can use canned filling also
Double recipe milk sugar glaze **I used maple extract instead of vanilla

First make the apple filling and set it aside to cool. If you are using canned apple filling, make sure that apple pieces are cut into smaller slices. Then, add yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer. Place the milk into a microwave safe container and heat for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and place the butter in the milk and stir it in until it melts. Once the butter has melted, add the water and make sure that the liquid is still slightly warm before adding to the yeast. Once you have added it to the yeast, whisk everything together until the yeast dissolves. Next add the yolks and whisk well again. Add the flour in a pile and place the salt and sugar on top of this. Use your paddle or dough hook and quickly mix the ingredients together. Allow them to mix until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl. If it doesn’t, add a little bit of flour at a time until it pulls away, and let it go on the mixer for 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to unravel the dough.

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Once it has come together, bring it together in a ball and place it in a slightly oiled bowl and let it rise until doubled (30-60 minutes). Cover with towels and allow it to rise.

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Once it has doubled, pour the dough out onto a half sheet pan lined with a piece of parchment.

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Spread out the dough simply using your hands, and then spread the apple filling all over the dough. Fold one side over the other and cut it into 12 pieces.

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

IApple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Use a dough scraper to further ‘chop’ the dough into smaller pieces. Prepare another half sheet pan with a piece of parchment and spray it lightly with some pan release and then wipe it with a paper towel, so that only a little greasy residue remains on the surface. This will help you be able to remove the dough, once it has proofed, and drop gently into the fryer. Once you have chopped the dough and filling into small pieces, add them altogether onto the greased paper. Make sure not to pile it too high because this will prevent the dough from cooking inside. Create medium sized piles and remember that they will swell in the hot oil also. Once you have created 12-24 piles depending on how big you want your donuts, cover them loosely with plastic wrap, and let them rise again for 30-60 minutes until doubled in size.

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Heat your oil to a medium heat and try a test piece of dough to make sure that the oil is not too hot. Gently lift the dough and place each into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pot, try to fry 3 or 4 at a time and allow them to get golden brown all over. Once they are golden brown, remove them onto a paper lined tray to drain off the extra grease. Next place them onto another plate and drizzle a few tablespoons of milk sugar glaze on each side until the whole donut is well coated. Place onto a serving plate and enjoy warm.

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Apple Fritter Donuts, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Joy April 1, 2014 at 11:27 p

This question may have been answered already but in the directions it says to add the yolks but I didn’t see any in the ingredient list. How many are in it? Thanks! Can’t wait to eat these:)

avatar A. Wendy Rickard April 5, 2014 at 1:34 p

In the directions it says to add yolks, however, it is not in the list of ingredients…so how many egg yolks?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet April 5, 2014 at 10:37 p

Hi Joy, I looked back in the Berliner donut recipe that I used (link was provided in the article) and when re-writing the article I forgot to include the 3 yolks…it has since been corrected!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet April 5, 2014 at 10:38 p

There are 3 yolks Wendy…recipe has been updated, thanks!

avatar pamela May 5, 2014 at 1:08 p

why not use the whole egg? thanks

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet June 12, 2014 at 10:50 p

Hi Pamela…many times in recipes only the yolks are used to add a richer and creamier texture to a product. You see them used often in many types of dough, cakes and even custards. Egg whites are generally used as a binder because they don’t contain any fat and sometimes add a toughness to the dough, batter or custard which is why they are omitted…

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